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Linkarati

Preparing For A Link Campaign - #LinkaratiChat with Annalisa Hilliard

Cory Collins | October 20, 2015

Research is one of the most important elements in any link campaign.

It's impossible to launch a sustainable, long term, effective link building campaign overnight, without the necessary preparation.

Last Tuesday 10/13 we were lucky to have Annalisa Hilliard, an SEO Strategist at Pole Position Marketing join us for an enjoyable #LinkaratiChat where we discussed the details and elements of preparing for a link campaign.

Research is one of the most important elements in any link campaign.

It's impossible to launch a sustainable, long term, effective link building campaign overnight, without the necessary preparation.

Last Tuesday 10/13 we were lucky to have Annalisa Hilliard, an SEO Strategist at Pole Position Marketing and all around awesome SEO, join us for an enjoyable #LinkaratiChat where we discussed the details and elements of preparing for a link campaign.

Let's get into it, shall we?

Question One: What is the first step in preparing a link building campaign?

A broad question, if ever there was one. Thankfully, our group was up to the challenge. 

Annalisa kicked off the discussion with the two most important elements of a link campaign: understanding your client, and understanding their audience.

Dan Callis reminded us not to overlook the on-page SEO and technical elements of a site, before trying to secure links:

And let's not forget identifying linkable assets while assessing the client's site. 

But there's more - how can you identify a linkable asset if you're not aware of the linking environment within the industry?

What's the first step in preparing a link campaign? Research. Lots, and lots of research. You'll need to review the client's site, linkable assets, industry, linking environment, prospect for the target audience. Creating a link strategy requires a depth of knowledge which can't be gained overnight. 

Question Two: What on-page and site-wide factors should be considered prior to launching a campaign?

A link audit should be done before the launch of a new campaign. Look for untapped resources, links pointing to 404 pages, or links that might need to be removed/disavowed.

Familiarize yourself with the site, UX, architecture, assets, and conversion path. Make sure there's no glaring issues - otherwise, you're poring link equity into a black hole. 

Which leads us to question three. 

Question Three: How do you determine which tactics to use?

This is hardly cut and dry - determining tactics depends once again on the client, their resources, the industry, budget, time, and goals. 

However, there are some best practices. 

Customization is key. Understand your client, where their competitors are getting links, and what assets are available that will help you achieve your goals. 

Question Four: How do you identify linkable assets and determine outreach/promotion strategy?

We've hit on the importance of finding linkable assets numerous times now. How do you actually go about it though? How does that play into your promotional strategy?

First, a shameless plug about a piece I wrote on finding linkable assets for enterprise sites over on Search Engine Watch. 

Annalisa reminds us to use common sense before diving into tools:

Andrew and Kate discuss content gaps and competitive analysis:

Actionable outreach advice was shared as well.

Question Five: Why would a site not be ready for a link campaign?

Not every site is ready for link building. We've hinted at why a few times, but here we discussed in detail. 

There are many reasons a site might not be ready for link building. The truth is links should come last in a marketing cycle, when you're ready to promote for audience and peer attention. 

If you don't have something worth (or ready for) promoting, then link building isn't for you. 

Our last question revolved around tools. 

Question Six: What tools do you recommend in preparing a link campaign?

And That's A Wrap!

Thank you so much to Annalisa for agreeing to be our featured guest, and thank you to everyone who joined in!

Don't miss our next #LinkaratiChat on Tuesday, October 27th with Casie Gillette of KoMarketing!

And we have a very special webinar next Wednesday 10/28 with Steve Rayson of BuzzSumo, where he'll discuss his findings after analyzing 1,000,000 pieces of content. There will be actionable takeaways about the kind of content that gets shares and links, so make sure to register now: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8971063075416800258

Thanks again, and see you next time!

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About The Author

Cory Collins

Cory Collins is the Managing Editor of Linkarati and the Content Marketing Manager for Page One Power. Cory is a writer, runner, link builder, SEO strategist, and beer enthusiast. Cory lives with his dogs and wife in Pullman, WA.

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